Speed vs Velocity: Differences in Tabular Form with Diagrams and Examples

People often confuse speed with velocity. These two terms are different from each other and should not be interchanged. Difference between speed and velocity is a common question in physics exams. Although both these terms indicate movement with respect of time, still there are numerous differences between the two.

NOTE: SI Unit of both speed and velocity is meter per second.

Table of Differences between Speed and Velocity

Differences between Speed and Velocity
Basis of Difference Speed Velocity
Definition Speed is the rate at which an object covers a specific distance. Velocity is the rate at which an object changes its position.
Type Speed of a scalar quantity Velocity is a vector quantity.
Formula Formula of calculating speed is:
speed = distance / time
Formula of calculating velocity is:
velocity = dx / t
where dx is displacement and t is time.
Direction Speed remains same if a moving object changes direction. Velocity changes if a moving object changes direction.
Magnitude Speed can not be zero or negative. Velocity can be negative, positive or zero.
Interrelation Speed or a moving object may or may not be equal to its velocity. An object may have several velocities while maintaining the same speed.
Example An object may accelerate from zero to its top speed in a given time but its speed is taken as average speed. For example, a car may accelerate from 0 km/hr to 100 km/hr in five seconds. But its average speed will be counted as its speed. Direction is always associated with velocity. For example, if an aircraft is moving in south-west direction as a speed of 400 km/hr; its velocity will be 400 km /hr, south-west.
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Speed vs Velocity with Image Example

The following image simply demonstrates the difference between speed and velocity:

speed vs velocity demo image

The following image shows how change in direction changes velocity while speed may remain same.

speed vs velocity direction